B.C. Hydro predicts unprecedented electronics use this COVID Christmas | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. Hydro predicts unprecedented electronics use this COVID Christmas

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December 11, 2020 - 6:00 PM

B.C. Hydro is predicting the COVID-19 pandemic combined with the holiday season will result in unprecedented electronics use and therefore a spike in the use of electricty.

A survey conducted for B.C. Hydro revealed that over 90 per cent of British Columbians plan to spend more time at home this Christmas due to COVID-19, and over half will use more electronics to pass the time, according to a B.C. Hydro media release.

British Columbians are not only using more, they're planning to spend more too. Spending on new electronics and appliances was already up by 10 per cent earlier this year, and it's expected to keep climbing this December.

New hot items like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox One X gaming consoles will contribute to the spending and usage increase. About 10 per cent of adults in B.C. are planning on buying a gaming console this holiday season.

New monitors, tablets and TVs are also at the top of many people’s Christmas lists, and B.C. Hydro is predicting at an all-time high for screen time. In the survey, about three-quarters of British Columbians said they will be watching more TV and movies over the holiday season than they normally do. About 10 per cent plan to purchase TVs as gifts, and over half will do most of their shopping online.

As the current public health orders are preventing family gatherings this year, technology is playing a big role in connecting people to their loved ones. 

About 60 per cent of British Columbians said they are planning a virtual celebration with family and friends this year and about half said they will be making more phone calls. This may explain why about 10 per cent of survey participants expect to purchase cellphones for family and friends.

The video conferencing app Zoom continues to be the most downloaded iPhone and iPad app of the year and headsets with microphones and LED ring lights are popular gifts.

To try and save some money on your electricity bill, B.C. Hydro has a few tips. 

Streaming movies or TV shows on a device like a smart TV instead of a game console will use 40 per cent less electricity, or save between 30 to 60 per cent using a computer with an energy star label. 

Monitor size matters too, as a 17-inch monitor uses 30 per cent more energy than a 15-inch monitor.

You can track how holiday activities impact a household’s electricity use with the electricity tracking tools available online by making an account here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2020

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